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May 24th 2011 2:21PM Now, I prefer the older concepts of beauty...Audry Hepburn, she is singly one of the most lovely women in Hollywood history...can there really be a comparison??? As for the world of Music, I favor the classic look of Carly Simon, classic sound, unforgetable!!! I can only say that the 30 years that have passed since I spent an evening at The Hot Tin Roof listening to Livingston Taylor I do regret still that little one bedroom in Edgartown, my husband wanted a day to think...omg...the worst allowance for his opinion I ever made, $20,000 for a small star to shine on the shores of my favorite ever place where my favorite ever artist lives...there will never be another
Pippa is cute, put a passing comet...Hepburn, Simon shining stars forever!
May 5th 2011 8:30AM I am 58 and I spent 3/4 of my life hating my curly, frizzy hair, although I let it grow about 2 1/2 feet long, but it was seriously trouble to try to comb out after washing and took a good half to 3/4 of an hour. When I got to be 45, and I was teaching emotionally disturbed/behaviorally disordered K-3, Finishing my Master's degree, working on my research, and being chauffer to my 6th grader to math and economic meets (yeah, they do have them, like sports, but typically only the parents show up for the meets, not even their principals, but when it looks like a student or a team will win the "Gold" at the end of the year, even the Superintendent shows up, even if the other team is a district a hundred miles away), I simply had too much time to worry about my curly hair, so it grew out and my colleagues wowed me for my new look, ok that's great, because I was tormented throughout jr. and sr. high by the "cool" girls who determined who was in and who was out and had to be bullied, and not only did they torment me for my way too curly and frizzy hair, I also lived in the ghetto of the city and we were poor so I shopped in thrift shops, which gave them further fodder.
In any case, there were bullies in my time, in my oldest brother's time, im my mother's time, during hippies, the yippies, the yuppies, the guppies, the dinks, and apparently no one has learned anything from all the Lord cursed behavior, because we still have bullies, and the case of the 6 older teens in Hadly, Massachusetts who tormented this girl who had moved to America until the day of their last hurl, to go and kill herself, which she did, only exemplifies the lack of parenting, because this kind of bullying wouldn't happen if these teens, almost adults, had been taught, morality, ethics, charity or even an ounce of mercy.
Parents, if you know that your kids are bullying others, PLEASE stop what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and ask yourself, have you modeled morality, ethics, charity and mercy in front of your children? How do you treat other people in front of them, and how do you talk about them behind their backs? Do you make obvious donations in the company of your children to perhaps select a child to sponsor, or choose a livestock gift to a Third World Nation, perhaps a flock of chicks, or a goat, or ducks, which from their first flock or brood they must share with neighbors thus giving them a chance as well (its the Heiffer Corporation and Arizona is not a Third World Nation and I don't know how Governor Brewer got her state on the list but I think it is shameful with all the millionaires in her state that she would stoop to begging on a list of Third World Nations, but that's just my opinion), never pass a holiday Salvation Army Kettle without at least a quarter or a dollar if you can afford it (just keep a stash in your purse and give it to your little to medium child to stick it in and say Merry Christmas, no matter what your religion is because they are Christians), if there's a park clean-up get your kids up early that Saturday and let them know it is their earth they are cleaning up for their own future, if you're healthy enough, take your kids on a charity 5K run so they know their are other ways of contributing to the community, check with the school to see if they might know of other charity events that you can get involved in, take your kids to a thrift shop every now and then because all the thrift shops I go to are for charities, and its and extra way of giving while recognizing the Christian humility that is ours and share it with those who can only afford thrift shops, and remind them that Congress is planning on making it a requirement that anyone recieving help from the government will be required to shop ONLY at thrift shops, even for a birthday or Christmas present.
As a parent it is your DUTY to sensitize your children to the meaning of money, morality, ethics, charity, and mercy. If you do this, I guarantee you, they will have too much heart to hurt another, and if you support them when they take a stand for the good, they just might intervene and make the victim their friend and possibly prevent a suicide. And the stronger their voice, the weaker the voices of the bullies, once they know the gig is up and perhaps even in the school newspaper she or he can write an editorial about the bashing of peoples hearts and if they want to do it, then do it to each other, since it apparently doesn't bother them.
Whatever you do, parents, DO SOMETHING !!! Being rich and buying them every thing they want isn't good enough to make you a good parent. Teaching your children to behave kindly is much more important, that they learn to care about other people, and do get involved with efforts and groups that are charitably inclined, encouraging your children by modeling charitable and merciful behavior yourselves, these are the things you can do to lead your children to grow up to be sociably and psychologically fully developed adults prepared to belong to our society, and always remember, God has eyes.
Apr 26th 2011 8:09AM Wouldn't it be neat if a good portion of the profits from the sales of all these novelties were donated to local homeless organizations, as Prince William has devoted his energies to continue Princess Diana's efforts and goals. Then, it wouldn't be commercialistic but humanistic, that I think would be a truly royal gift to the Royal Couple...then send a photograph which they may make a real Wedding Photo Album of gifts of charity in honor of the Royal Couple and Princess Diana, something you cannot take away, something that does not tarnish, and something that will show William just how much the public love Diana for her great Charity and miss her great mercy, too.
Apr 23rd 2011 1:22PM I have a Master's Degree in Special Education for Varying Exceptionalities certified to teach children woth an array disabilities) and you probably would not think it, but student who can do mothing more than scrath a pencil mark are still tested on the FCAT, and the teachers are graded on these FCATS, and our new Governor wants to cut off teachers who do not show improvement in test scores. Who the heck cares about compassion, security, the bonding with both Parent (I mention that because having been a teacher of emotionally disturbed and behaviorally disordered students, they are under such incredible stress, often they have not even the support of their families, and I shan't tell others what to do, but I know these parents, the mums who take them to Sunday School twice a week and these mum's just pray and pray, where even there the teachers, thanks to modern (last century's) psyschology, children were most often whipped, never spoiled, and largely as a measure, as step children who are so many of them, and perhaps more rejected than accepted step children, and I praise these children and their efforts and sacrifices just to try to make family out of the 3 of them, then one day he tells you he married you, not your son, not the sweet as a fudge, lovely as a lamb, innocent as a kitten, concerned if what food she has made for me to take back to my husband even if he called her a whore and shucked them out of "our" gun, a 31 year old women but when she calls you mum and kisses your neck with strong and commitful love, her arm around your neck, and always says thank you, I can see it, that abjegation And just as a measure of fact, the FCAT is given 4 times a year and it takes several days to complete, so in a school year of 40 week, you are look at really 32 weeks of learning and 12 weeks of testing, and if that doesn't bother you, ok, that's fine. And since Florida has soooo much poverty behind the scenes of Mickey Mouse and his competitor, Universal, and hiding behind the first several blocks next to the beach, most people do not know the incredible poverty, the ghettos, the slums, that unless Congress passes Universal Pre-K our Kindergarten teachers will continue their valient fight with classrooms that have children who have gone to Kinder Care or La Petite Academy and children who don't know which end of book to open and think you read the pictures. Such is the terrible results of the lack of Cultural Relativism in the breach of income strata, where some kindergateners could have told Sarah that Africa is a continent because they had been there, and other children could not recognize the common animals that one finds on a farm or a safari, which could be experienced even at Busch Gardens in west Florida. But the very studies that enhanced OUR school experinces or our children's experinces, plays, historical programs, musicals, field trips to historical parks or parks of natural interests for flora and fauna, and recess, everyday recess (I recently read an article that stated that oxygen improved thinking and enhanced IQ, now wouldn't that say something about teaching under pressure the content that will be on the FCAT, or teaching for the love of learning and let the FCAT go where it may, these are children, and their attitude torward school begins in kindergarten, and if we beat them over the head with FCAT, all day every day for 36 long weeks, how will they feel about school and learning?) I say "Give them recess, or give them a job"...in which we are treating them like adults, and in Florida it is a huge part of the curriculum to teach them personal responsibility for their achivement in their duty to their school, district, and country. This is every principals DREAM to be able to systematically blame everything on their teachers.
Many years ago, the state decided that "Mental Retardation" began at IQ's below 80. That meant that students with and IQ of a range of 80+ would be in regular classrooms, but the teachers cried fowl, that intellectual range was too broad for them to teach effectively. The state's response...lower the IQ for regular students now to 70, fully 2 standard deviations below the norm, how crazy is that, and in Florida, that is how the establishment "works" with the professionals, complain and we screw the screw in deeper, a very ignorant management style, but another example of Florida's "don't even squeek or you will be soooo sorry," professional educational control, which, of course, causes great resentment, when a teacher has a better way, or breaks away from the "teach to the FCAT" model, or has a better behavior management style than the state's punitive style, try motivation and praise?
What did our teachers do when we were young that made us so much better than the children today? My guess as a K-3 teacher of Emotionally Disturbed/Behaviorally Disordered is the increasing spread between the haves and have nots, No Mr. Superintendent, we cannot beat the cultural experiences they lack, thus the visual and listening vocabulary into the poor and getting poorer in our throw the kids away society, as you could have at least signed the petitions going around telling our Senators and Congressmen that "NO, we cannot cut the funding of our failing schools, but rather support them with more money to even try to give those children some of the cultural experiences that make the difference between the kids from the ghetto and the kids from the gated communities. Let them know, we need universal Pre-K to solve this issue, and give the impoverished a fighting chance. I know...I grew up in abject poverty, broken home, mental illness in the family, and even with an IQ of 161 without glasses I couldn't read until 4th grade, I didn't even know that there were stores with new clothes in them, only rarely went to a park to see a deer or raccoons. Sir, you are doing nothing but cruelly subjecting the kids who cannot do as well and know they are failing 4 times a year, to reinforce the self image as loosers, and you know, Sir, when that starts in elementary school, you know that you are responsible for the seedling of sociopatholgy...if I can't be a winner in school, if all I ever hear from the teacher is criticism, if everyone tells me I am nothing but a looser here, then I'll go over to the hood and maybe I can be somebody over there. Sir, you know this, intrinsicly, you know the psychological damage that the FCAT does, when we were children, our teacher didn't berate us, they gave us recess daily, shoved out into the snow, for fresh air and under the huge "tent" between our two buildings in case it rained, they knew that much, every mom knew that. We only had the standardized tests in 6th grade and 8th grade and since it wasn't any big deal, like nobody's job was on the line, our curriculums were not built around any test. So we had butterfly gardens, planted trees on Arbor Day, invited our parents to the Memorial Day Program, where every year we all studied the Gettysburg Address and one child would be chosen to give the speech in front of the rest of us, who stood at attention, hands to our temples, and parents, and, of course every year, the female teachers (almost all) would tear up, you imagine today elementary students learning about the Civil War, and having a service for those men who died. But we also celebrated the beginning of the Revolutionary War, and during the study, we all were memorizing Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride, and on the 18th of April, or the Friday before if it fell on the Weekend, we would have a little program on the stage after lunch for parents to come and enjoy if they could, and take their child home after which most kids did, and can you have imagined what a shock it would be to them to have to teach to some test, no botany with our gardens, no history, no biology with the dentist and the vet come to make presentations every year and we got to touch a full set of teeth and pet the tamed possums and raccoons, animals we might see around our yards, No Christmas Musical Presentations, no Thanksgiving reproduction that last Tuesday before Thanksgiving Break and everybody had a part, either pilgrim or Native American, and a few named folk who had speaking parts, "Speak for yourself, John Alden" (Actually, before I went to college, up in Boston, I worked for the President of the John Alden Society, of course, named John, how amazing, but then I also worked for the CEO of Cabot Corp, of the explorer Cabot, cousin to the famed ambassaador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge, on the Board of Directors of the corporation, if you're good and create a great reputation for yourself, there are some pretty neat people to work for in Boston.
Well, when I was laid off from the Daytona Beach Marriott, a francise operation, because the comptroller kept pressing me for sex and my original boss laid off for not turning over the staff every 18 months, so the president laid off my boss, so I went to the president and he listened, that was a Friday, and on Monday I was terminated, single mom with a Kindergartener son, so I went right to unemployment and when I told them what had happened and asked if I qualified for unemployement, she asked me if I wanted to sue them for sexual descrimination, but that would take a long while and did I have a way to last until then and I did not, so she called the President of the hotel and told him that I was fired for not giving out sexual favor to the comptroller, and he said that non of the other secretaries or assistants would testify, and she said that with a prison term waiting ahead for committing purgury, she thought they would, so she said unemployment would cover me for two years, and I might still go ahead with the suit, or he could pay me two years of unemployment at 80% of my last salary , which appears to be $375, both their part and Unemployment's part for two full years, no kidding, no joking, no messing around and not taking anything out for any benes, or the next thing she will do is have me in to sign the papers for being fired for non-compliance to a sexual demand, and since he is such a big man around here, it might be embarassing for him, I had nothing to loose, far as that went, and about blackballing me around all the medium to big hotels, motels, resorts, and medium to major employers, that would be kept in a new to be opened File under his name, not the hotel, because who knows where else you might strike next, and to send the check here at her office in the name of Florida Unemployment Security.
Now, why is this important?
Apr 7th 2011 10:45AM Dear Kelly,
I was a Master Degreed Special Education Teacher specializing in the emotionally disturbed/behaviorally disordered with a thesis in Bibliotherapy, and was honored by the National Council of Exceptional Children as a Professionally Recognized Special Educator. How ready are you to accept your part as a member of our current society, especially the current huge cut being proposed in Mental Health Services? How ready are you to give up the violent programming on television and at the movies, especilly the programming meant for children? How ready are you to dedicate taxes to positive after school programs staffed by educated, trained and prepared to handle violent behaviors, to build better special schools and staff them with teachers trained to counsel the students, not just punish them with large male teachers on the staff to lock them into rooms for hours until they feel ready to deal with them again, not at all therapeutic or remedial. How ready are you to fund therapeutuic Social Workers to counsel the parent(s) or guardians, to pay adequately for Foster Parents that you can have intellectual and emotional expectations from them, and not just stuff them onto mattresses in the basement with a tv, video game machine, table and chairs, and fed spaghetti or mac and cheese so that they can make a tidy profit on those little minds and hearts that hurt like any kid would hurt from being neglelcted and/or abused by their famiy and then shoved into this kind of foster home with these kind of foster parents who don't care if their homework gets done and won't help them anyway if they have trouble doing it?
Just how much do you really care about the children who grow up in slums and ghettoes where gang fights and drug dealers are daily events and this is their childhood? How much are you willing to pay to change this sociopathological environment and demand that minimum wage beat the poverty level at the very least? How ready are you to support Universal Health Care that these kids will be cared for in case of accidents or illness, or Universal Pre-School, so that these kids will see the alphabet and numbers, see books so they know you read the letters and not the pictures, learn manners and the social etiquette of making friends and getting along with others in a classroom setting?
We have the society that we have because of the weak investment we have made in the children who have passed through our system and have gotten the attention the the system has had time for. In the last 20 years, while uneducated American politicians have focused the failure of our educational system on the teachers who have been unable to meet the achievement on the worldwide accepted Standardized Achievement Tests (SAT's) that the modern Western nations and Japan have achieved, while not caring to know that those nations do not allow everyone to take those tests, that after elementary school the children are tested and those who do not pass the test are funnelled into basic vocational training, and again after middle school the students are tested and those who do not pass are funnelled off into more complex vocational training, and only those that pass get to go on to high school, and that after everyone graduates, those from vocational training and their apprenticeships accepted into their appropriate Unions, and those from high school onto the SAT's, and that cream of the crop is whom we are compared to, and its apples and oranges. Thus, our politicians, soooo uneducated, punch down our American teachers who get everyone with IQ's from 70 and up, knowing that 100 is the average IQ and 70 is one third less intelligence quotia that these American teachers are not only supposed to keep up at the same rate, but are expected to prepare them to take the SAT's and get competitive scores with these Western nations' cream of the crop students!!! That our American teachers do as well as they do is a major mircle, and these Republican politicians, instead of showing their incredulity that these American teachers can go so this very far with students fully 2 standard deviatons below the norm and can do their best to get them graduated from high school, instead of the appreciation for such achievement, these Republican politicians want to de unionize the teachers, where in America the purpose of the union is for protection, as in the parent of that 8 year old boy who may press charges against those 2 teachers who were not at that point supervising her child, the union will in some states provide as much as a half million dollars in legal fees, and also the union will protect teachers from being disciplined illegally by administrators who may have a grudge or as little as a favored friend who is a teacher looking for your position. And our Republican politicians want to take this job protection away from our hardworking, and risk taking teachers...balk, if it were their relative, they would make certain that they had legal protection in cases such as this little 8 year old, where the teacher may try to distract the child from his current anger with a conditional reward for giving the teacher the stick, with a little paper cup of cheese fish crackers, which has a high success rate at that age, and in as much as many teachers would say, I'm not going to reward THAT kid, given the choice between escalated behavior and de-escalated behavior using fish crackers, I'd go for the fish crackers, and a chat about violent behaviors and what kind of results come from violent behavior, and positive behavior like not hurting people with sticks and giving the stick weapon to the teacher and settling down quietly and the results that come from getting settled down. Kids are not stupid, and in as much as I agree that cause and effect chats after rewards for giving up the weapon may seem to take a long time to prove ultimately effective, pepper spray is only going to store the behavior for future use, when they are somewhat larger and more powerful.
In any case, children are sponges and they learn from what they see, and if they are attacked by bigger people, that is exactly what they will learn, and they will do the exact same thing, look for smaller victims and attack them. Sorry, I do have to be depressing, but that is the nature of learning according to famed psychologist of learning B.F. Skinner and his research on learning psychology. So those of you who vow to punishment/discipline over reward/reinforcement will in 9 out of 10 cases will fail to teach a better behavior, but will most certainly teach a psychopathological behavior of violence at the emotion of frustration or failure of success.
Now, it is apparent in this situation that this child has succeeded in teaching both teachers here to exhibit fear and powerlessness upon the display of anger by this 8 year old boy. Naturally, this reinforces the child's sense of empowerment, and he continues to exhibit this power/controlling behavior. They have taught this child that he has all the power in that classroom, so it really is not this child's fault that he has developed psychopathology, but it is now going to be harder to exhibit an orderly relationship with the boy. It is so easy to slide into this type of relationship, but when a child has had such success with this threatening and punishing behavior with the adults in their social circle, it is hard to turn it around. Best bet is to start the school year on a reinforcement/reward classroom management program for both the individual and the class (pizza parties are prime, I have not found any other group reward that works as well, but a Friday afternoon movie with popcorn is a big 2nd choice.)
Clearly, the teachers and other adults in close contact with children who are at risk of learning to develop power/control relationships must be educated in strategies of reward and reinforcement for appropriate behaviors because a child cannot be engaged in both positive and negative behaviors at the same time, and if parent(s) and teacher(s) can learn how to elicit positive behaviors, they have acquired the control which they need to be able to develop pro-social behavior within their children's daily goals.
My last word...if they're not happy, you aren't going to be either, and if they're not happy, they're not learning, so give yourself a break and reward and reinforce the heck out of good behavior, you will be doing yourself a huge favor.
Mar 23rd 2011 11:16AM I'm sorry that gossip improves health as it ruins lives and careers. I was a special ed teacher with an MA and taught young emotionally disturbed/mentally ill children who could become violent, a career that typically lasts from a few hours to a few years, and I was a happy camper with my happy camper kids for 8 years, meanwhile my assistant with no college education gossiped to my prinicipals every day. I know this because the first principal was there for 6 of those 8 years and because he was a male and most of the teachers were women and he didn't want anyone to alledge anything, so he kept the door open so the line outside of the door could hear and even if it was mostly closed the first one or two people could still hear, and being nice and professional crowd, and knowing me to be a very well educated, but a shy, but very nice and kind, they would (thankfully) come and tell me what today's gossip was. Now, at the least, the principal should have been concerned that she was spending between a half hour to an hour in his office every day getting paid to gossip on me, and also at the least he should have been concerned that she was such a gossip and she was gossipping about whom she was working with every day, and that was not fair to me. And then she told him that I wasn't doing enough arts and crafts, so he gave her an hour of every day to do arts and crafts, you believe this!!! And then when teaching the Holocaust became a state mandate, and I was a district Multi Cultural Liason and got the mandate, I created 2 units, one for primary, K-2, and one for intermediate, 3-5. And then I tried out my unit for primary as a whole language teacher, beginning with a book that gave them some idea of the topic, and the book was very sensitive, never mentioned death, about a barracks of little girls with a "grandma" in a concentration camp and the only thing that suggested anything was the building that they could see through the only window they had, in the back, where the people went in, but never came out, and that's all that was said, and of course the little girls conjectured where they went, was there a door in the back? was there a tunnel? But there was never a mention of death in the little book, the only thing that suggested war was that the people at the camp when they were outside and they saw a German plane fly overhead it made them feel scared, but when an American plane flew overhead they were happy and talked about chocolate and other candy. And after I read the book and always showed the pictures, oh, by the way, in the end, the American soldiers came with chocolate bars and there was singing and dancing all the way out to the American trucks to take them away from the camp, so after the book we talked about how they felt about the cold, watery gruel they would get twice a day, and about being so cold, and being stuck in the camp with the only adult, their "Grandma". And after we finished that first lesson my assistant went to the Principal and told him if she were a parent of a student in that class and knew what I was teaching them she would go right to the Superintendent, who had sent me a letter of commendation for letters from parents and my professional collaboration with social workers, nurses, counselors, psychiatrists, etc. as he had gotten letters in the several years and the principal was also copied on my presentation of the Professionally Recognized Special Educator from the National Council for Exceptonal Children and he wanted to let me know that my professionalism and success, most especially with the families, was very important to him, and he wanted to commend me for an excellent job well done. So what does the principal do but call me up to his office, and I knew what it was about, so I take my unit and the book with me so he can read it, which he does and says, lovely book, very sensative, and I say, well you know how careful I am about my library as I did my thesis on biliotherapy, and he acknowledged that, and he said the unit was great but never teach it again. And I told him that it WAS a state mandate, and he said he also got a copy of the mandate so he knew, and I asked hm why, then, if it was a state mandate and he thought it was very well done, should I pack it up and stash it, and he told me that my assistant had told him that if she had a kid in my classroom during that lesson she would go to the superintendent and have her student ripped from the school immediately, so we didn't want her to publicize that, and she was told it would not be taught again, so she would not make a big deal about it. What incredible power one person can have and you think that he would have gotten rid of her so that she wasn't there to push him around anymore, but, he retired instead, so there she was with the new principal. And of course she approached her with the gossip slowly and that first year with the new principal she was very happy with me. I had done a presentation at a conference which she sent the VP to and the VP told her that many superintendents were very interested in my research and put down their email addresses on a piece of paper for more information than was on the handouts. And I got calls at school from some superintendent, and that was the first time in the history of the 75 year old school that anyone had made a presentation in any conference so she was very proud, and that was nice. And I wrote a play for African American History Month and had it announced that any student interested in being in the play to come to my classroom right after school with their teacher's permission, of course. Well, there were 3 regular kids and all the rest were either emotionally disturbed or Intellectually challenged Grades 3+. And some of my really good friends told me, it wasn't that they weren't interested in having their sudents in drama, they thought that was great, but this was the first year that the FCAT (Florida test of achievement) was going to affect their salary, and I knew this, but I didn't think teachers were going to take it all that seriously because we were already 49th in teacher salary, and how low could Florida go??? Anyway, we rehearsed hard, had to with a cast practically all challenged and the regular kids came to maybe half the rehearsals or less as they learned their lines fast, and when the day came, the District Supervisor of Multi Cultural Affairs Dr. Randolph Lightfoot, made an ending Speech about the play which covered 3,000 years of important Africans to African Americans, and I had had him in a class on African American History, for which paper in the end I asked if I could write up an elementary curriculum, and he said that would be great, and when he got the two copies of it in their 4" binders plus a set of all the books used in the curriculum and two sets of the game based on the curriculum as an assessment instrument rather than a test or something that would be intimidating and the students would obviously rather study for a game than a test, well, the first thing he did was congratulate the cast of mixed races students, because that's who applied to be in the play so that what we had for a cast, and he congratulated them really nicely especially for their impromptu costumes they created on their own, as the school had no budget for drama, and then he wanted to complement all the activites that the Multi Cultural Club had accomplished so far that year, that was my club, especially the Peace Day celebration and program that had been highlighted on the tv news, and the Spanish/English Holiday program at the local nursing home, my class, I taught Spanish to my class from my first year, they were the only class learning Spanish, which made them REALLY special and proud they were of it. Then he told the school that they were among the most active Multi Cultural schools in the district and congratulated the Principal for a fantastic achievement and asked her to come up on the stage, and then a kid came up on stage and gave her a bouquet of roses and she was really happy about that with a certificate about being a leading school to be making a mark in our district toward making peace. So you know she was very happy, and then he called me up on stage and I got a big bouquet of mixed flowers which I distributed to all the cast with a few left over and thanked Dr. Lightfoot and told him it was a great school with the best students that we could have such a great performance and with his guidance and the guidance of our principal we were sure to find our way to making peace here at our school and into the community. So she was a happy camper, until my assistant began her gossipping again, toward the end of the school year, nothing big, just a taste of what was to come the next year, and oh what a year that was.
By October she got into her nasty gossiping, but this year she got viscious. One morning when she got into the cafeteria where she was supposed to stay with the students she said she had to check the mail, and I said I had already, but up to the office she went anyway, and when she came back she said the principal wanted to see me, and so I went to see the principal, and the principal said some personnel said that I smelled of alcohol, and I was completely shocked, so she asked me to come to her so she could smell my breath and her head was practically in my mouth and she sniffed several times and she said yes she smelled it, and then she asked the school secretary to smell my breath and she did and she said she couldn't smell anything, and so she told the secretary to smell again, and she took a deep sniff, and she said that she could smell something but she wasn't sure what it was so the principal told her to smell again, and this time she asked me if I used Listerine, and I said yes, and she said she thought so, and I explained that I had some bad teeth, but my son was at Boston College and he did not get a total scholarship which meant that I and his dad (we were divorced) had to put in about as much as we could including loans to pay for it, so for me it was tuition or teeth, and it was going to be tuition, and the Listerine killed the pain, and the Principal said she wasn't buying it, she smelled alcohol and told me to go home and come back sober tomorrow, and I asked, couldn't the campus cop breathalyze me and then we would have proof one way or the other, and she said she wasn't going to do that with all the parents around dropping their kids off, and I didn't get what she meant, were these parents going to be in her office while the cop breathalyzed me...but no, she was not going to do that, just go home and come back sober, and I knew it was my assistant who had in those few minutes when she came in and went right up to the office to cause this. Well, I took it but when next day she had me sign the paper she worked up on it, I wrote underneath my signature, the school secretary recognized the smell as Listerine, which it was and the principal would not allow me to be breathalyzed, and initialized and dated that note. Well things were calm until late January when my assistant did it again, but this time the principal told me to get my purse she was driving me home, and I said, I got myself here and I will get myself home, and she said that she would not allow me to drive home and it would be considered insubordination if I refused, and that was a firing offence, so I got my purse, and when we got to my apartment complex entrance, I said this was fine, and she said she would drop me off at my apartment, and I said my apartment was over in that building (in front of us down the little drive), and she said which apartment, and I said the one under the palm tree, well they were all under palm trees, and she asked which palm tree, and I said the one next to the compact car, and she realized I was not going to let her know where I lived and I didn't have to, either, she could go back to the school if she wanted, and look it up on a map, if she was intent on following me or having me followed. So I opened the door and got out, and I said, you know this is going to cost me a lot of taxi money, and she said nothing and I closed the door and waited until she drove away and only then did I begin to walk, looking back every minute or two, and walking through hallways and between buildings.
And at the end of that year, I was engaged to my professor boyfriend on the other side of the state and told her I was moving over there, and she asked me to officially resign on paper so she could begin looking for a replacement, and I hesitated, wanting to wait until I got another job before I officially resigned, but my fiance now said, oh go ahead, she's not going to do anything bad to you, and I did, and the next day I was over there at the big hiring conference and I got hired right away, and that was great, and then two days later then principal who hired me called me at home and said she was so terribly sorry but she had to unhire me and I asked why, and she said that the reference that the last principal gave me was terrible and I asked her what she said and she said she was sorry but she could not tell me. And I said I was there for 8 years, if I was bad wouldn't I have been fired? If she is slandering me, I have a right to know, what about what Mr. Day said, and she said I was an excellent teacher, taught more curriculum than any other EH teacher he ever knew, hard working and the parents liked me alot. So I said, what about all those letters of appreciation, and awards and the letter of commendation from the Superintendent, don't they mean anything, and she just said, I'm sorry. And that was the answer I would be getting from every principal for 3 years and my career was ruined.
So the next time you think about gossipping, you remember that the career you ruin will be on your conscience forever and a day, it will follow you past your death, and may come to bite you back someday. But remember most that you might be ruining someone's life because they will not be able to use those college degrees that they are still paying for, and might have to get deference for all the time you cannot find a job, so far 8 years, and that's a lot of time to be poor and broke and never know what slander was said about you that you can never get a job.
Just consider, you would have to be hateful to do this to someone, and yes she was, and you know it could have never happened if either of the principals told her that gossip was unprofessional and they wouldn't listen to it...
Dec 16th 2010 2:37PM Now, there's room for many variations of the ending, here, like Eb and GPF. I was dating a junior in my senior year in high school. He was a scholar at the Jesuit college, and around the Holidays, well, you know, we holidayed, and so he wanted to marry me, and well, I said I would think about it. So he had a colitis attack and ended up in the hospital, and when I got to the hospital, his doctor happened to be there and took me outside and said that the insecurity I gave him caused this severe attack, and I would have to be more sensitive and more secure with him, just what I needed to hear at 17, so after the doctor said he couldn't take many more of these severe attacks or he would have to have a colostomy, and then when I went in to see him, I said yes.
Well, either he knew already, or his very good friend, one of the Jesuit professors knew but didn't tell him, but the day we were married he told him, according to him, that he had lost his entire scholarship for everything, so I took 3 jobs, and he had his job in the college library to pay for his fall tuition, and kept those 3 jobs to pay for his spring tuition, and kept those 3 jobs to buy him a car (I couldn't drive, was never taught and had no experience or license, so it was HIS car). Close to graduation, he got offered to be the assistant curator at our huge and excellent Art Museum at a very nice salary, but he had already gotten accepted to this graduate school about 40 miles away, and so I kept 2 of the 3 jobs I had, worked for his tuition and he agreed he could commute the 40 miles, people from Worcester commuted that far from Worcester to Boston every day for a good job, so he said he could do that much for graduate school. Well that lasted about a month. Then he got an invite to share a big apartment down there in Rhode Island right off the school for $100 a month with 3 ladies in his program, now this is back in '73, so another $100 a month was a lot for me to carry, but I got another 3rd job at night and it was a kind of scary walk now, as I was followed home every night by a man, and it was probably just coincidence, but I didn't feel safe, but I did it for the rent money, as I walked that long road from the bus stop at night. And then after a few more months he started coming home every few months or so, and I thought that was really a long time between visits, but having no way to visit him, I just did the "OK" thing, until he graduated. His uncle lived across the road from the new apartment I had moved us to, so I would be near someone I knew if anything happened, and he could tell by the lights and the car if he was home or not, and he felt bad for me, so sometimes he would come over and invite me over for some farmer's cheese and bagels. So he finally graduated, and brought all of his stuff home. Naturally, I couldn't go to the graduation, because he would have had to come and get me, and, well, he didn't, so that was that.
Well, he got hired as the Science Librarian at his old Jesuit College, happy as a clam, clam happy, and then he started to go out after dinner every night, and I began asking him to stay home and talk with me, and after a couple of times, he turned around and said to me, "What could you possibly tell me that I don't already know?" and left to go out with his old buddies from the college. And you could have knocked me over with a feather...why, when we were dating, he always said I was the smartest girl he ever met (IQ 161, the high school psychologist tested me because I was failing all my tests my senior year, but you know my eldest brother had died over the summer, my dad was leaving us for his "other" family, my other brother had a nervous breakdown and spent 2 months in the state hospital until my dad agreed to sign him out, so it wasn't my best year, and I was diagnosed bi-polar, so I had to quit school, anyway to get a job and help my mom out, so there were plenty of reasons I wasn't doing well, and then he insisted I marry him, AND take on all the bills). Anyway, he would come home after midnight and not even wake me up and he would be having sex with me. So, I gave it a few months, but that was his life, then, and I didn't like it, so one day I got an apartment and started packing my stuff in the car, and asked him if he could drive me to my place, and his jaw dropped, and he said who was going to cook for him now, and I said maybe his uncle, and who was going to pay the rent and utilities, and I said, your turn, and so I got a lawyer, and we went to court, and you believe this, I had one of those old passbook accounts I had made little deposits into over those 3 1/2 years, and he sued me for half of it, you believe it, I paid for his education, graduate education, bought him the car, and his clothes, he hardly visited me while he was living with 3 ladies, I gave him an allowance, and when he comes back after his MA, he's too educated to even talk with me, and the judge orders me to give him half of what's in the bank, he took advantage of me for 3 1/2 years, and took half of what I worked hard for and saved the little of what was left, hopefully to go to college, and HE TOOK ME, he took me, maybe it was gradually, but he took me.
Now, all you fellas think about how this lady was some kind of gold digger, and I'm apt to believe that she probably paid when they went out. According to the story and retelling, he didn't have the money to pay her back even half, so who's the gold digger in this story, really. She was marrying beneath herself, both financially and morally. If he had had the slightest doubt, he should have conveyed it as soon as possible. What kind of mind is it that could, for a year, live with all these expensive plans, and not do some serious thinking, was he ADHD or ADD, BI-Polar himself, Paranoid Schizophrenic, or simply utterly irresponsible. He didn't have the money to cover the costs she put out, did he convey that to her that should anything happen, he would not be able to pay her back, since that is his big issue, right there in her face, he should have told her he was unable to be responsible, because he was irresponsible, all he had to do was tell her in the beginning, listen, my Darling, I love you so much, but I want to be able to pay half of the wedding and this much____ I can afford to pay, and I don't want you to spend more on your half than I can afford, s o let's keep the wedding expenses down to ______, ok, my Darling love? That's what responsible people do. Maybe he didn't want to be responsible for any of it, or maybe he was just letting her play wedding planning to be at her expense in the end. Whatever you want to think, he let her loose almost $100,000, and that's not responsible. Just like my ex-husband, having me pay all his expenses from his senior year through graduate school, and then leaving me alone every night, except for when he got home and had his "stuff", which has been explained to me later is called married "rape".
So, my ending thoughts are that you, too, in my husband's situation would have done as he had done, and would have taken half the money that was left over every month after I paid for his education, his apartment with the 3 ladies, his allowance, his clothes, rent at our apartment in Worcester, utilities, food for when he did once in a while come home, and insulted to my face that I wasn't worth talking to. Not once did I get any compensation for taking care of him for 3 1/2 years and that he did never pay any of the living costs and expenses for himself at home or away in Rhode Island, the judge didn't consider that at all, just that in my two and three jobs at a time, I managed to save some hundreds in my bank, and then I had to give that to him too. Well, guys, you better not think about marriage because I dollars to dimes that you'll turn out to be the Chinese architect husband of the Chinese wife who is his secretary and decides how much she gets paid, and then divides the expenses up equally and she has to pay her half on a much lower salary, big guy big enough to take his wife to the financial cleaners in the movie "The Joy Luck Club" it the education you really need, or "Diary of a Mad Housewife". And think thrice before you get a girlfriend, even girlfriends don't deserve to be taken, know what I mean...
Dec 4th 2010 8:22AM Awe, that's nothing, my husband and I were going steady for 14 years before he proposed, and then two more years before we got married. He wanted to "make sure" =). And we've been married 6 years, now, so I guess you can say, "it's working out."
Nov 22nd 2010 12:52PM Dear Red,
When I was 16, the last day of school, I came home to learn from my mom that my dad came home to tell her that he was divorcing her, he had another family, with kids and all, the house in his name only was up for sale so we better find an apartment soon, and I tried not to react in front of my mom and told her, ok, I would go looking for a job tomorrow, but I had to wash my hair because my girlfriends and I were going to the Holden Experiment, a coffee (real coffee) house, so we could talk when I got back, we didn't stay out late, and my lovely sister in law, Marcia, my brother divorced her for a younger model, but she's still the sister in law in our family, his new wife hasn't time for us, and she wears him thin, gets a job to get a new car, gets the car, then quits the job so my brother is stuck with NEW CAR payments, doesn't drive used cars, never has since she married my brother, and my brother is good friends with his first wife, and I think regrets his second childhood. Anyway, my dad left for a couple of hours during which time my other sister in law in Vermont called to tell us that my brother had had a heart attack and died, and when my dad returned he learned the news and left the house again. When mom told my brother in his room upstairs, he had a nervous breakdown and came down but his adrenalyn was running high, he was so close to that brother, and while I was combing out my hair, after calling my friends to tell them and go on without me, I didn't know what was happening, except they told me PLEASE if I could possibly make it to the last SAT exam tomorrow morning, PLEASE try to make it, my last chance to take it.
Well, my dad came home half lit and told my mom in his drunken voice, "If there's anything I can do for you...," and my brother, schizophrenic and all in the midst of his breakdown, picked up the sculpture of Christ's face In Agony he sculpted his last time at the state mental hospital, and threw it directly at my dad's chest and broke a few ribs, I called for 2 ambulences, one for my dad, and one for my brother, and until the ambulences came, my brother circled the house breaking everything glass that could "mirror" the night, the loss, our home, his best brother, our father who threw us away, he broke every piece of glass, every mirror, and I couldn't calm him down, this was his first violent breakdown, and after the ambulance took him away, the second ambulance folk found my dad with his broken ribs and took him away, and my dearest sister in law helped us to pack a few things, after my SAT next morning, we would be headed up to Vermont for my eldest brother's funeral, where all the guys from Big Blue came in exactly the same Navy suits, shoes, ties, and white shirts, they paid for the funeral, and my sister in law kinda just wanted us to go home, so we did, and when we got to my second oldest brother's house with Marcia, and stayed the night, next day my mom and I found an apartment we could spruce up for the security deposit, paint, wallpaper, and Mom and me working after we got out of work, because she dropped me off downtown Worcester, and I went back to the store I had been scoping and asking the manager, Mr. Laturgis, every Saturday for a month (I already knew about my dad and his other family from the kids at school, and they weren't too mean about it, so I had an inkling already, and they lived in the nice part of town and wore new clothes and shoes and everything, but I kept it to myself, as my mother already had an investigator on it) and when I told Mr. Laturgis my situation, he finally gave me a job in the credit department, 40 hrs., I could really help my mom with money now, and forget high school and college, my mom needed me and so did my schizophrenic brother and my little sister, and of course my psychiatrist (paid for by my dad's insurance, which I didn't know what would happen now) prescribed a new drug for the depression I fell into, but was still functional, and after a couple of weeks I had to drop as I became emotionally numb, and I knew that wasn't right, and so I stopped taking them and fell back into my much more appropriate depression, but I got my scores for the SAT's and they were actually good, for whatever good they would do. I didn't sign up for my Sr. classes, for all intents and purposes I was dropping out of school to help my mom take care of the family because my dad had the money for a really good lawyer, the house had sold and he gave the money to my grandma, who hated us kids because my mom was French, to keep until the divorce was over, so my mom wouldn't have anything to get half of besides the furniture, and child support for my little sister, since I was working, and my money was much, much more than the child support on me would have been. My dad impoverished us...and I still had to know him as my dad...
The school psychiatrist asked my mom to take me in to the school for some assessments, even as I had quit school, and so I went, and he did a Stanford Binet 147, and a Weschlers 161, and the Psychiatrist took the scores to the Principal and asked couldn't I just do independent study with IQ scores like that, and the Principal said I would still have to take Chemistry, so they stuck me in the first class of Chemistry. Well, the Chemistry teacher became a chemistry teacher for his credentials of being a medic in WWII, and sometimes I just couldn't stand it, I just had to correct him, he had never even read Einstein's "Theory of Relativity", thus, he was teaching it all wrong, like the movie "Back to the Future" science fiction, and the more often I corrected him, the worse my scores on my exams got, until the school psychiatrist had to have a meeting with me and told me to leave it alone, and yes our school had the worst acceptance rates into nursing schools, it wasn't my problem, I didn't have to correct the teacher, he was a veteran, they weren't going to get rid of him, just put down the answers he said during class, forget Einstien, just graduate. Oh, how that hurt me, because I knew the right answers already, but he was teaching classes of students who were eating this crap up like it was fact, not fiction. So I shut up, did this whole thesis on the effect of poverty on a child's educational achievement, otherwise known as "The Education and Achievement of the Culturally Deprived Child" and it made a real hit, as I had done case studies of a dozen schools in the Worcester Area, rich neighborhoods, and poor ghettos, noting their equipment, class sizes, handling of ESOL and Special Needs Students, and I guess the school psychiatrist was plenty impressed enough he had parts of it published in the Central Mass. Teachers Education Assoc. Quarterly, and the Psychiatrist took questions on it, and even though I got some "rough" credit for my case studies accounts, his name took precedence, but I got a high school diploma, and with those SAT scores, someday when I went to college, they would help me alot! Meanwhile, I went on with my job and helped out my mom to take care of the family, and while I inwardly despised my dad, I gave him that old Italian respect he expected, even though he had a whole 'nother family who he took care of a whole lot better than us, but, in the end, you only get one father, even if he despises you, too, but if you want a dad, that's the deal. And I knew it caused me great ambivalence about the role of men in a family, just how much abuse to tolerate, should children ever, EVER, have to tolerate abuse or neglect, or lack of recognition as who they are? I had my own share of breakdowns, and only once did it interfere with my work, 6 weeks out of work teaching the ones who needed even more from me than I had supposed I had needed from my own parents, but you know, someday the need leaks out, and, plop, you're surrounded by the icy waters of a nervous breakdown and all you can hope for is a quick melt down and back into your own skin.
So, Red, I absolutely hated it when I fell into that great gap of a hugely desparate nervous breakdown, but I had made some paperwork mistakes at my school, which happens, I had been to many more special ed meetings at our school because I was always there at least an hour early, so I was there to be a witness, and I saw plenty of White-Out being used to fix mistakes, but the time I made a mistake, the Guidance Counselor went to the principal, who had never heard about mistakes at the meetings before, and creamed me, and no, I didn't cry, even when he told me that the write up was going into my file, that was a Wednesday, but waited until Friday to have my nervous breakdown, and my muscles started shaking and quivering and by Monday I had to call in sick and got an emergency doctor's visit, and when he saw me and my muscles shaking and my feet couldn't sit still on the floor and my arms shaking all over, and I couldn't stop crying, he gave me prescriptions to get before I left, and told me to call the school and let them know I would be out for at least a month. And during that month I wondered had the Principal felt anything about listening to my assistant when she told him my class needed more crafts, which she was good at having been been a Cub Scout Mom, and so he gave her an hour of my Master's Degree teaching day, or when she told him that my students had a much better lunch having it in my classroom watching children's learning shows, so she could leave them with me and have a double lunch time, and I would have none without the children, and when as a District Multi-Cultural Liason I got a letter from the State Board of Education that we were to teach the Holocaust, and so in my usual sensitive and thoughtful typical method, I designed a unit to cover both primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5) grades with the literature incorporated for the District Library and our own school library for Multicultural compliance, and my assistant went to the principal and told him I was teaching the "HOLOCAUST" which to me was nothing any worse than teaching the Civil War, it was HISTORY from which we were to have learned a great lesson about prejudice, and perhaps I should not have spoken it, but I did mention that I had a BA with 193 credits in not only my major but a minor, and could have minored in several other areas with but a class or two, 193 credits is a lot, considering it took but 120 for a BA, and all in 3 Summa Cum Laude years, and she had not even a college class at all, and I had la creme de la creme in MA's for students with special needs, the degree that covered almost all special needs, a 54 credit Master's when most only took 30-33 credits, and I felt highly competant, over someone with no college at all in making curriculum decisions, but if for any reason he felt that she was more competant than I, oh, please let me know, I wouldn't want to step on the toes of a greatly experienced and knowledgeable teacher assistant. Yeah, I was about as humbled by my principle as I could get, and you know people who are excessively humbled don't have their creative juices flowing, because they are afraid of criticism, but for my assisant, she had no education, she had a shakey background, working for a principal who would succumb to her assertive nature at a moment's notice, and that's what he got, a faculty of self-important, ego-maniac, eager to pay for all the respect they would like, but not really the research type, in fact, not really the educational type, an easy job for an easy and secure future, the hell with the social change and ethics, man was not born with a mind for social change and morals, we are but a few generations from the Armadillo and they still have not learned how to cross the street...is this our future, that we cannot learn from our past failures, Armadillos, unite, don't listen to that garbage that says that you are an inferior species, because you are not, nor the Humble Possum, who only wants his fair share, I know, because I have watched the Possum in our Florida pond, take care of her nest, but then I only presume it is a female possum, but a soon as I get close enough to distinguish, I shall be the first to let you know !!!
Nov 22nd 2010 7:52AM Dear Angiebaby,
Your concepts about the treatment are very interesting, and so your comment on all the "do-gooder [who] have no knowledge of the subject matter." I have a Master's Degree on the subject matter, and according to the research it is the setting in a huge facility where the clients are considered to be unable to differentiate between reality and fantasy which makes it so very possible and so very real that the clients ARE taken advantage of. The fact that Massachusetts is trying to use "best practices" as they can afford, as Massachusetts, as progressive as it tries to be for the betterment of its population, is still stuck with the rich and wealthy who have that 70% absurd tax cut and their offshore tax evasion felony accounts, so, in a way they are constrained to putting on any more state taxes, but I have a brother who is severely schizophrenic living in one of the private one bedroom residences, with residence counselors 24/7 and a psychiatic services during the day, he takes his own medicines and checks them down on paper as he takes them so he knows he has taken them. He used to visit the college library every day for an hour before, as alumnae, but several times he was "told on" by girls near by while he was whispering to himself, in well self-trained psychosis that he bothered no one out in public, but just the fact that he was "talking to himself" spooked the girls enough, even as one could not hear him in his private psychosis, which is his First Amendment Right, and the librarian never interfered as his whisper was inaudible, yet these young ladies continued to complain, and ultimately the guard escorted him out of his own rights as alumnae out of the library, which resulted in his never returning to that library as much his as it was the students fussing about him. I did call the librarian and related the events to her, and she did know him and was always happy to see him and said she would have a second talk with the guard, she knew him as she had stopped him before from escorting my brother out at the complaints of some female students, so he knew better, and asked me to please let him know that Julien said hello and please come back to the library as she missed his happy face. Well, after a year, he gave it another try, and he got the looks and the whispers, and was about to leave, when Julien came to his table and welcomed him back, and shushed the other students talking about him and asked them what they were about, this was the library, not the Student Activities Center, so they ought to be studying, not chatting. And, thus my brother felt that he could return to the library and not be harassed.
You know survival in the real world has an awful lot to do with how the real world treats the mentally ill. Now, I'm just guessing here, but it sounds like you would feel offended, if not scared, by someone who might be sitting alone at a table off by itself where that person might be whispering to him/herself, and given limited experience and knowledge, which seems to be your case, you might want that person to be escorted out, too. But the case is, speaking, whether to yourself or someone else, is legal, being schizophrenic is also legal, and could the difference have transferability, I could only wish that everyone have one adult day of schizophrenia, bi-polarity, paranoia, post traumatic stress disorder, severe depression, severe anxiety disorder, Down's Syndrome, ADHD, Tourette's Syndrome, Intellectual challenge, and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, just one day of each, and then they would learn compassion. I chose for my Master's Degree to study them all, they called the degree Varying Exceptionalities, and my first job was to teach mentally ill with mixed challenges K-3 children, their first introduction to a structured environment with rules and directions, and if you ever wanted to see kindergarten children find their limits of Oppositional Defiance, they found it within the first week of school, throwing books and chairs at me, scratching, kicking, punching, biting (dangerous...the schools never tell you if you have a child with HIV/AIDS, TB, or Hepatitis), or pulling my long hair right out off the top of my head. It took about 2 weeks for them to learn you only got Cheeze Its if you were on task, and you cannot be throwing a chair at me and be on task at the same time =). No, I refused the state's behavior management system, "STEPS" short for steps of punishment. That might seem like a reasonable plan to you, BUT you must remember that YOU as teacher are THE MODEL of positive behavior in their lives, since you don't know what their home life is like, so it is up to YOU to model positive adult behavior, and if you model punishment, that is what they will learn, and when they are adults and other adults do what they do not like, they will do what they lived, try to punish that other person, you get it. On the other hand, if you show them acceptance, unless it is physically dangerous, but motivate them to a different, more positive behavior, that is what they will learn as adults and that is how they will behave. So in the library context, had the girls seen my brother in a psychotic conversation and wished he would stop his psychosis, all they needed to do was go on over and ask his name and tell him their names and ask what he was studying and tell him what they were studying and ask him when he came to the library to study and then say something like, well maybe we'll see you around sometime, and then maybe do it, and my brother's psychosis would have been completely interrupted and happily so. So, Angiebaby, there's lots society can do to help and change the lives of the mentally ill, just a wee bit 'o compassion, that's all it takes. Give it a thought, and if you get scared, a teensy prayer, and He'll give you the strength to do a good deed for a lonely person. God Bless.